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9780521130431

Dictatorship of the Air: Aviation Culture and the Fate of Modern Russia

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780521130431

  • ISBN10:

    0521130433

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-04-13
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Summary

Focusing on one of the last untold chapters in the history of human flight, Dictatorship of the Air is the first book to explain the true story behind twentieth-century Russia's quest for aviation prominence. Based on nearly a decade of scholarly research, but written with general readers in mind, this is the only account to answer the question 'What is 'Russian' about Russian aviation?' From the 1909 arrival of machine-powered flight in the 'land of the tsars' to the USSR's victory over Hitler in 1945, Dictatorship of the Air describes why the airplane became the pre-eminent symbol of industrial progress and international power for generations of Russian statesmen and citizens. The book reveals how, behind a fa├žade of daredevil pilots, record setting flights, and gargantuan airplanes, Russia's longstanding legacies of industrial backwardness, cultural xenophobia, and state-directed modernization prolonged the nation's dependence upon Western technology and, ultimately, ensured the USSR's demise.

Author Biography

Scott W. Palmer is a specialist on the history of modern Russian culture and technology. A frequent traveler to the Russian Federation, he has conducted eight extended visits to Russian archives since 1994. His research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the United States Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the Fulbright-Hays Program, the International Council for Research Exchange, and the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies.

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